If summer 2019 was defined by the leopard print midi skirt from Réalisation Par and the 2020 uniform was a three-way link between Hill House Home nap dresses, DIY tie-dye and Entireworld tracksuits, then 2021 is preparing for that too his year of the checkered print. More specifically: checkered prints of Holiday label.
It started out harmless enough. When Sydney-based designer Emma Mulholland founded Holiday the Label in 2017, her goal was to create a quirky-cool brand that would capture the “heart of the troubled traveler” with ’90s-inspired looks that feel “holiday nostalgia” Wake up, and they certainly come with supercute slogan t-shirts, psychedelic prints, and even hair ties. Then, in late 2017, we were unexpectedly introduced to the checkered Kokomo pants, a print inspired by director Gregg Araki’s 90s films, particularly the 1995 black comedy thriller Doom generation, that would drive the indie label into mainstream awareness.
Just as all fashion trends were born from Instagram, it started with a phalanx of influencers. . .
“I’ve always been drawn to checkerboard prints,” says Mulholland. “But I wanted to do it myself so it wasn’t a straight chessboard. I came up with the hand-drawn ‘wonky’ check so it’s easy to identify. We are definitely known for it.” In the three years since its inception, Mulholland’s favorite plaid print has grown in popularity. He caused a stir in different colors (blue, red, olive green, marigold yellow) and styles (skirts, pajama sets, dresses) and made his debut at various specialist retailers, including the popular indie retailer Lisa Says Gah, who is now working with the textile artist Katherine Plumb offers her own floral version of the plaid print. “Check printing has quickly become the most popular print among our customers,” said Tori Freedman, Merchandising Director at Lisa Says Gah. “It’s the perfect ‘no-pressure print’ – it makes styling easy and still feels fun and cute.”
Just as all Instagram fashion trends were born, it started with a phalanx of influencers flocking to Holiday the Label plaid pants and pairing them with other plaids for a mega plaid fit or mixing them with other prints and to combine. Then came the celebrities, namely a pregnant Gigi Hadid in an olive green pajama set. And pretty soon everything was being reviewed by a number of brands like Stand Studio, Gimaguas, and Rotate Birger Christensen, to name a few.
Checkered print is by no means a novel pattern – it’s been around since the invention of chess in the 6th century (Netflix’s) The Queen’s Gambit really couldn’t have been better timed). It can be seen in tiles and flags from the 17th century before it became fashionable and graced the sides of in the 1950s and 1960s Fashion and shine. Recently, these classic black and white squares have swept the runways again and have appeared in the Preen Fall / Winter 2020 collections from Thornton Bregazzi, Erdem, Eckhaus Latta and The Elder Statesman.
The ubiquity of checks, especially among Instagram influencers, can be felt with even a simple, fleeting scroll. We understand that Instagram was invented precisely for this reason: to show what you love and to have this love confirmed with numerous likes. But when there is a tidal wave of people who all love one thing at exactly the same time, this invites criticism. The London-based writer Emma Hope Allwood drew attention to the checkered trend on Twitter and named the aesthetic “Avant Basic”.
“It’s algorithm fashion … bizarre in the age of mechanical reproduction … vintage effortless … when the summer of 500 summer days was an insta gal with a mullet,” she tweeted.
Anything that is cool becomes uncool as soon as it feels mainstream or manufactured. It’s not difficult to see the appeal of checkered printing at all, however: when the result is updated in unexpected hues, or converted to a distorted or distorted pattern, it feels eccentric and unique without depriving it of its familiarity. The sharp lines and clean, contrasting squares make the checks feel infinitely cooler than their prettier cousins, plaid and gingham. And the checkered print serves as a nostalgic allusion to another time.
The checkered print serves as a nostalgic allusion to another time.
“In my opinion [the checkered print] is a simple and flattering print for people – it’s very versatile, “says Mulholland.” It appeals to a wide range of people and is something extraordinary in contrast to stripes or polka dots. “Mulholland understands this Instagram wisely too. Trends can die as soon as they peak.” We look forward to rolling with them [the checks] – It was one of our first prints and we will keep using it once the trend is over. “
We hope the end is not quite near yet. In the meantime, watch as style setters from Yandeh Sallah to Camille Charriere are following the trend.